Akon Lighting Africa solar project aims to bring electricity to some of the 600 million Africans who lack it. The project under Akon’s academy will be opened in Bamako, Mali’s capital to give African engineers and entrepreneurs the skills needed to develop solar power.The institution, scheduled to open in summer will help supply training equipment and programs with assistance from European experts.
The academy will aim at teaching people how to install and maintain solar-powered electricity systems as well as micro grids, “which are really taking off in rural Africa”, Akon Lighting Africa said.
Africa has 320 days of sunshine a year, the organization said in a statement, so harnessing solar energy is an ideal way to enable those without electricity to get it.
“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise,” said Samba Baithily, who founded Akon Lighting Africa with Akon and Thione Niang.
Seventy percent of Africans are under 35, and creating sustainable jobs is vital, the group said, so investing in solar power for the future can help in more ways than one.
“We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions,” said Niang. “With this Academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further.”
The group announced the launch of the academy at the second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York.